The Freshman Life

The Freshman Life

Follow me as I struggle through my first semester

A timeline of me in college:

First month in college:

Dear Mom,

I know this isn’t what you ideally want to hear as you wish me the best while I’m away. But, I figured I’d let you know how I’m doing. The first few days were miserable. Someone would say the slightest thing about you and it would take everything in me not to cry. I would think about the red van pulling off of campus and my heart would fill with sadness. I would yearn for another one of our late night talks. I wanted, and needed your physical support. Although I was surrounded by some of the most supportive people in the world that I knew loved and cared about me (shout out LCVB), It didn’t matter because none of them were you.

None of them had to pick me up from kindergarten crying. None of them had to watch me struggle to make friends in first grade because of how shy I was. When you left it really felt like kindergarten all over again. I couldn’t stop crying, and all I was thinking about was when I got to see you next. It was a euphoria because all these great things were happening to me and you weren’t there to witness any of them. It felt wrong. I got the opportunity to go to college, something I’m so lucky for. I was able to play on the volleyball team, something I’d always dreamed about, and I was still sad. The person I worked so hard to impress and make proud, wasn't there. I would be so happy, then I would be sad, then I would be confused because all these good things were happening, and I was so sad. As much as we fought and bickered and tested each other, I miss it. Also going through preseason of volleyball and it’s kicking my arse, my body is suffering and it’s not helping my struggle.


Oh my goodness mother I am thriving. I’ve learned to actually like school-I know, shocker. I love my friends and the town, the community, everything is great. Obviously everything isn’t perfect; I still get stressed and I'm terribly busy. But I can’t imagine being anywhere else and I’m incredibly happy with where I’m at in my life right now.

P.S. I still miss you, I just thought I’d fill you in and let you know that I’m no longer mentally terrified and exhausted. Also I’ll make an effort to call more, sorry about that.

Cover Image Credit: Jonathunder

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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A Reflection On Iron Man, The OG Avenger

My reactions to the 2008 film after a decade of Marvel adventures.


Before the madness of Infinity War and even before the Avengers, Iron Man made his screen debut. As the start of the superhero era, I couldn't refuse watching the movie when I found it on cable. Although I am a huge Marvel fan, it had been a long time since I have seen it.

Tony Stark's character changed in the past ten years. Although he's still the same "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist", he developed from the simple rich boy stereotype. In his first movie, his biggest worries consist of changing his company and stopping terrorism. Although at the time these issues seemed tough, his worries have grown much bigger. Now he fights not only for his planet, but the entire galaxy.

On top of fighting aliens, Tony developed anxiety. Between him falling through a wormhole during the attack on New York and the vision Wanda showed him in Age of Ultron, Tony constantly worries about the fate of his friends, often blaming himself for the danger they are put in. Seeing Tony virtually carefree was bittersweet as I realized being a superhero has changed him forever.

Although I am sympathetic now, there was a time when I was upset with Iron Man. During Captain America: Civil War, I felt especially frustrated with his choice to sign the accords. I thought about how he seemed to be a spoiled man who had his superpower handed to him through his family's wealth. I forgot about how through his wealth, his intelligence and caring for others is how he got started as an Avenger.

Something that always blows my mind is how he built his first suit when he was kidnapped by terrorists using his company's missiles. From there, he decided not only to use his technology to save his own life, but to help the other victims, and eventually life throughout the universe. Although I still don't agree with his argument from Civil War, it was heartwarming to remember the origin and values of Iron Man.

Pepper Potts also surprised me during the film. Although now I recognize her as a side character with sporadic appearances due to Gwyneth Paltrow's fluctuating contracts, she really shined in her first Marvel film. Pepper sees the good in Tony, even through his impulsive decisions, staying by his side when he needs her the most. Not only that, but she gets into the action herself, hacking into Obadiah's computer to find out his plans and taking the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to his hideout to confront and arrest him. She doesn't stay home while Tony's in trouble- she takes charge. Plus, she can run in heels, which is no small feat.

Although the future seems bleak for Tony now, he deserves happiness in his life after everything he's done. I hope Tony and Pepper can live long and happy lives together, even after the madness.

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